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Independent Review of Social Security Disability Program to Begin in 2012

Posted on Jan 04, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported on December 15 that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has commissioned a review of the national disability program.
The review was prompted by the concerns voiced by many that the disabled population is being poorly served. They have been charged with finding out why those who need benefits are not getting them while those who do not are.
The independent review will be conducted by the Administrative Conference of the United States and will examine 1,500 administrative law judges. Allegedly, some judges approve many more applicants than others.
The result of this review will be an overhaul of the SSA disability appeals process next year. Next week the SSA will end the practice of telling applicants who their judge will be in order to keep them from “shopping” for lenient judges.
Judges began to be more closely examined when it was discovered that a West Virginia judge had approved 100% of the cases brought to him during the first six months of 2011. According to Michael Astrue, SSA Commissioner, there are 100 judges who award benefits at least 85% of the time.
The review is slated to begin in August and end in November, when recommendations will be made. How these will affect SSA disability applicants who have been denied remains to be seen.
If you have applied and been denied for Massachusetts Social Security disability benefits, you should seek legal counsel. The Boston disability attorneys at Keefe Disability Law can help you find your way through the changes and reach success with your appeal.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law